NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2023
The Golden Knights celebrate their Stanley Cup win on the Las Vegas Strip, the Panthers believe their playoff run signals better days ahead, the Senators new owner will meet with Daniel Alfredsson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL/LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights celebrated their Stanley Cup win with a parade on Las Vegas’ famous Strip and a rally at Toshiba Plaza on Saturday. Tens of thousands of fans turned out to watch the parade while at least 7,000 fans jammed the plaza.
Golden Knights captain Mark Stone, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Marchessault and center William Karlsson were among several players who spoke to the fans during the rally.
THE SCORE: Josh Gold-Smith has clips of the best moments from the Golden Knights Stanley Cup parade.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Despite the disappointment of failing to win the Stanley Cup, the Florida Panthers believe their 2023 playoff run points to a bright future for the franchise. “We can build on this, and we’ll only get better,” said captain Aleksander Barkov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Returning to the Stanley Cup Final is a difficult task. Few teams in the salary cap era are able to maintain a Cup-contending roster.
Salary-cap constraints this season led to the depletion of a Panthers roster that won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2021-22. Management will have more room to maneuver for next season with around $10 million in cap space with all their core players under contract for 2023-23. They’ll likely invest that money in attempting to shore up the supporting cast to match the depth of clubs like the Cup champion Golden Knights.
OTTAWA SUN: Michael Andlauer, the prospective new owner of the Senators, is preparing to meet this week with Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and Sens Hall-of-Famer Daniel Alfredsson. He and Sutcliffe are expected to discuss a new arena in the city while his discussions with Alfredsson will be about bringing him into the organization in a possible front-office role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The discussions with the mayor will likely focus on the size of the arena project and possible locations. Alfredsson, meanwhile, seeks what the report calls a “meaningful” hockey operations role.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Future Hall-of-Fame goaltender Henrik Lundqvist debut his “Open Heart” documentary last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows Lundqvist, his family and his team members following his open heart surgery and recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link to see a trailer of Lundqvist’s documentary.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Dawson Mercer has a year remaining on his entry-level contract but Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald hopes to sign the 21-year-old forward to a long-term extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mercer followed up a solid 2021-22 NHL debut (17 goals and 42 points in 82 games) with a 27-goal, 56-point performance in his sophomore season while skating on the Devils’ second line. Given his upside, it’s no wonder Fitzgerald wants to lock the young forward into a lengthy deal before his value rises even higher.
Whether Mercer and his agent will agree remains to be seen. His development projects to a 70-point season in 2023-24 skating alongside Jack Hughes and Timo Meier. Meanwhile, first-line right wing Jesper Bratt just got an eight-year deal worth an average annual salary of over $7.8 million after reaching 73 points for the second straight season.
Mercer won’t get that much but his agent could make the case for a new contract worth between $6 million and $7 million. His camp could also push for a three-year deal so he can cash in again well before his UFA eligibility.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Former Flyers star Simon Gagne has taken over as the new general manager of the Memorial Cup champion Quebec Remparts. He was their assistant coach under head coach and GM Patrick Roy, who recently stepped down from both roles.